Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

Footlight Theatre Company will present the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" for a two-weekend run beginning Friday in Columbia.

Spring brings thoughts of hope to an optimistic boy like Charlie Brown, but for some rreason he still can't seem to win the heart of the Little Red-Haired Girl he likes so much, nor can he seem to get his kite to fly right, nor has he still ever pitched a winning baseball game.

His friend Lucy is also having trouble trying to win the heart of her crush - the piano-playing Schroeder - while struggling with the heavy burdens of building and operating her "Queendom."

Meanwhile, Snoopy and Sally daydream while Woodstock flitters about and Linus battles with school reports.

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" is made up of little moments carefully chosen straight from the "Peanuts" comic strips. From Valentine's Day to baseball season, from brave optimism to utter despair, Charlie Brown has been a beloved figure of childhood nobility for over half a century.

"The soul of Charlie Brown is indeed in everyone," said director Anthony De Page, "and each of these characters offers a touching relation to children of all ages."

This family friendly musical, the second production by the newly formed Footlight Theatre Company, brings to life everyone's favorite little round headed boy and his closest friends, both human and non-human.

The cast includes actors from all over the foothills, including local favorite John C. Brown in the title role.

Susan Chapman, who played Mary in Sierra Repertory Theatre's recent "It's a Wonderful Life," plays Lucy Van Pelt, with veteran foothills actor Jason Kell as the piano playing Schroeder, Romy Evans as Charlie's little sister Sally, Quinn Fowler as Linus Van Pelt, Bryn Merrill as Woodstock and New York stage professional Allie Foote as Snoopy.

Strung together in the span of a single day from bright uncertain morning to hopeful starlit evening, the gang contemplates life, school, baseball and misunderstandings before finally coming to realize what truly makes them happy.

"Footlight is very excited for the opportunity to bring such a delightful show to our community and to be able to work with such an amazing cast and crew," said Kendra Burlison, Footlight's executive director. "Technical director Terry Smith and lighting designer Nathan Neill bring years of award winning experience from the Central Valley and are transforming Angelo's Hall in Columbia into an intimate yet amazing 112-seat theater.

"Under the vocal direction of Dennis Brown and the choreography of Ashley Flowers, along with the musical direction and conducting by Rick Moore of the Hot Dark, this show is guaranteed to warm the hearts of your entire family," Burlison said.

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" is based on the comic strip by Charles M. Shultz, with book, music and lyrics by Clark Gesner.

Angelo's Hall is at 11209 State St. in Columbia. Performances will be given at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

General admission is $20, $18 for students and seniors and $16 for children age 6 to 12. A family four pass for two adults and two children is available for $65. For tickets, call 728-8072 or

A preview at 7 p.m. Thursday will benefit the Tuolumne County Humane Society. For preview tickets, call 984-5489.